Church of St. Mary
Thakeham shown within West Sussex
|Area||11.71 km2 (4.52 sq mi) |
|Population||1,794  2001 Census|
|– density||153/km2 (400/sq mi)|
|OS grid reference|
|– London||41 miles (66 km) NNE|
|Shire county||West Sussex|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Ambulance||South East Coast|
|EU Parliament||South East England|
|UK Parliament||Arundel and South Downs|
The name Thakeham means "thatched homestead" and the original village had just one main street ("The Street") which is home to the village's only pub, The White Lion, and church. The parish has a land area of 1170.6 hectares (2891 acres). In the 2001 census 1794 people lived in 684 households, of whom 948 were economically active.
To the south of the village, the main village's population resides. This area is technically the hamlet of Abingworth although few locals know it as anything other than Thakeham. Abingworth contains a large mushroom farm together with several mainly modern houses and the village hall. The mushroom factory exists on two sites - the main office known as the Thakeham site and a secondary location further south called the Abingworth site. It supplies its produce to several supermarkets and has been open for more than a hundred years. However in recent times, it has had several owners and has been through many iterations - starting as Linfield Mushrooms in the 1880s, Chesswoods, Heveco (a Dutch firm) and it is now known as Sussex Mushrooms. Several recent setbacks led to the land being declared unsustainable for long term growth and a planned move to Pulborough was mooted. In late 2008, it announced plans to close one of the two sites and turn the land over to new housing. From the profits from the land sale, Sussex Mushrooms would modernise and consolidate the going concern at the remaining main site. Finally in April 2011 after much delay, Horsham District Council announced they had approved the plans for 150 new homes or varying shapes and sizes. Thakeham and several other nearby parish councils have joined Thakeham Village Action (TVA) in opposition to the plans. Although Sussex Mushrooms has said that if the plans are not approved, the whole site on both sides of the road will have to close with the loss of several hundred jobs, few people who work there live locally. It remains to be seen if the plans can be delayed further.
Further south is Rydon Community College and Thakeham Tiles, the other industry in the village, both situated on Rock Road.
The village's cricket team folded in the 1970s but was revived following a merger with neighbours, West Chiltington, at the end of the 20th century to form West Chiltington & Thakeham Cricket Club. Part of the developer's proposals included a new cricket pitch/pavilion where the Storrington Vipers football pitches are currently cited. The cricket club has already said they have no plans to de-merge but will use the new Thakeham ground as a second ground to run further adults and colts sides.
Famous people associated with the village
- "2001 Census: West Sussex – Population by Parish". West Sussex County Council. Retrieved 12 April 2009.
Media related to Thakeham at Wikimedia Commons